Archive | June, 2017

Sutherland kitchen landscape

Toby Perkins MP calls on Government to give our Armed Forces a ‘fair deal’

To mark Armed Forces Day on 24th June, Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.

Toby, who is Chair of the Labour Friends of the Forces, said “I am delighted to show my support for our Forces, serving personnel, Veterans and their families, on Armed Forces Day. It’s wonderful that we have a day that recognises the hard work and bravery of the forces community but of course they deserve our support all year round.

Government are rightly quick to praise our Armed Forces, but too often the warm words aren’t backed up by actions. Service personnel have seen reductions in pay and conditions, redundancies, more and more deployments and inadequate support for them and their families during and after they serve.

“I’ll be attending The Chesterfield Cadets Armed Forces Day at Wallis Barracks on Boythorpe Road and I look forward to celebrating the day with the whole community”.

Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Collingwood as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Sutherland as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

The Chesterfield Cadets Armed Forces Day will celebrate our Armed Forces and help raise funds and awareness for the Sea and other Cadet units. Chesterfield Sea Cadets is one of the oldest units in

the UK. A number of Armed Forces and community information stalls will be onsite, together with children’s rides, BBQ, Charity Stalls, food and tea stalls, with a flyover from a Battle of Britain aircraft.

Toby added, “Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, it’s especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day. I would encourage my constituents to come along to Wallis Barracks on Sunday and show their appreciation for all our Armed Forces personnel and veterans.”

The Wallis Barracks are open from 10am – 4pm on Sunday and will include a march through town from 10.15- 11am. Two weeks later, the Staveley Armed Forces Day will take place at Poolsbrook Country Park on 7th and 8th July.

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Pic 1 - Result at the count

Election result blog: Thank you for putting your trust in me once again

I don’t think I’ll ever forget where I was when the rumours of the snap General Election were first heard on that Monday morning in April.

Stood canvassing with our County Councillor Dean Collins on Traffic Terrace in Barrow Hill, suddenly the feverish speculation about a snap General Election started swirling around the news channels and my What’s App Group of MP colleagues all reacted with (as you can imagine) a mixture of excitement and alarm.

The Labour Party had never started an election campaign in worse shape, with speculation about the party leader’s performance and barely disguised division within Labour.

Following a slot on the Lunchtime news about the election, I left London for the last time (for seven weeks at least) that night, and can recall many colleagues who seemed already consigned to the fact that they wouldn’t be returning.

In Derbyshire, we still had the small matter of the County Council elections to contest first. We held on to seven of the nine Chesterfield seats, as Derbyshire went blue, but forebodingly, many voters had promised ‘I’ll stick with you locally, but I don’t know about the General Election’.

Immediately following the County Council election, I attempted to marshall our exhausted troops for a further six weeks of electoral effort to retain Chesterfield as a Labour seat, though many already had pre-booked post County Council elections holidays booked, and others were clearly in need of a breather.

The process of getting out on the stump and meeting voters, is always a simultaneously exhausting and uplifting experience. The early days of the campaign were dominated by indecision about the Brexit question, and the fitness of the Labour Party for Government. Early polls showed the Conservatives heading for a monumental landslide and talk of the end of the Labour Party.

And then things started to change. Firstly, I believe the British public became anxious about the prospect of a landslide majority. Secondly, the Tory promise to reintroduce fox hunting, was a useful reminder to many Labour voters of what an unfettered Tory Government would be like. Then the Labour manifesto which offered a genuine alternative vision of what Britain could be like, while the Conservative offering was to say the least, underwhelming.

Meanwhile as Jeremy Corbyn was growing in people’s eyes with his candid and relaxed approach, the Prime Minister’s stuttering and evasive campaign saw her become much diminished.

I was also gratified by the number of people who were placing a vote of trust in me despite their misgivings about national affairs.

By polling day, I was expecting that we would hold Chesterfield, but still harboured pessimism about our prospects nationally.

I think it is fair to say that none of us saw the increase in turnout or the political awakening of younger voters coming. The exit poll electrified volunteers watching the results at the Labour Club, and despite my misgivings proved to be largely accurate.

Attending the count at the Queens Park was, as always a somewhat nervy occasion, but it quickly became obvious that whilst my majority had shrunk a little, the people of Chesterfield had returned me to parliament.

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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